What happens when you have a ban on cross dressing on your cruise ship then have an event featuring drag queens? Drama is what happens. Apparently the people of the Carnival Glory cruise ship failed to see how this was going to be an issue.
See, they decided to invite contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race for an event called Drag Stars at Sea to have a star studded performance on this voyage through the seas. But then they issued a letter to these drag stars to not dress in drag in undesignated parts of the ship so it wouldn’t upset the people on ship. Here’s an excerpt of that email:
“Carnival attracts a number of families with children and for this reason; we strive to present a family friendly atmosphere. It is important to us that all guests are comfortable with every aspect of the cruise. Although we realize this group consists solely of adults, we nonetheless expect all guests to recognize that minors are onboard and, refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct in public areas. … Guests are not allowed to dress in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise. We’re sorry to say that any guest who violates our policies and/or whose behavior affects the comfort and enjoyment of other guests, will be disembarked at their own expense and no refund will be given.”
What does this cruise ship think drag queens are? They shouldn’t have to hide who they are. That’s the impression that this email leaves when they treat it as something that needs to be hidden from the rest of the passengers on the ship. As a result, there was a lot of public outcry from potential passengers on this cruise set to take place next week. So then the president of Carnival, Gerry Cahill, issued this statement:
“Within the last 24 hours, we became aware of a miscommunication between Carnival Cruise Lines and AlandChuck.travel, who have booked a large special interest group on the upcoming Carnival Glorycruise departing December 2, 2012.
The group, ‘Drag Stars at Sea,’ includes several performances by stars from Logo TV as part of a series of private events onboard. When the group was presented to us we were advised that only the performers would be dressed in drag during the private events. However, we are now aware that this was not clearly communicated to members of the group and therefore anyone who wishes to dress in drag may do so. Please keep in mind that our safety and security procedures require guests to present government-issued ID, and to be recognizably that person.
At Carnival, we are proud to carry more than 4.5 million guests every year and we welcome them all aboard. We do not practice any form of discrimination against the LGBT or any other community. We sincerely apologize for the miscommunication and for any unintended offense we have caused.”
Okay, so now they say you have to match the identity of you identification for security purposes. It seems kind of sketchy to me, like this was an afterthought on the part of Carnival. I mean it is valid when you’re in the waters of other countries to have proper ID that matches you in any case, but this isn’t what the original email said. The original message talks about “family” and being “comfortable”. What do you think?